9 Lessons I Learned From the Biggest Blogging Jerk Ever

by Marcus Sheridan

arrogance in bloggingHave you ever met a blogger who was simply an absolute jerk? Well, believe or not, I really hadn’t (at least to much degree) until this past week when I had an experience with a blogger that I found so shocking, so mystifying, so down-right ridiculous that I just had to share my thoughts with you, my incredible friends of this community—so here goes.

It all started when I stumbled upon someone’s blog last week (we’ll call him ‘Blogger X’ to save his named from being recorded in the annals of ‘biggest blogging idiots ever’). While browsing around his site, I could tell the young fellow seemed like he had a few decent ideas and I could therefore possibly pick up some nuggets of truth from his writings. This being said, I did the normal and decided to subscribe to future posts.

But this is when things got interesting. Upon looking for his subscribe button, I noticed only one simple box that asked me to enter my email address so as to receive his ‘Blogging ebook’ as well as future updates. Knowing that I wasn’t interested in his eBook, I then looked for his RSS button. Strangely, it was nowhere to be found. That’s right, the guy didn’t have an RSS feed subscription button. ‘Hmmm’ I thought, ‘What the heck is going on here?’

But considering I’m the type of guy that hates to see newer bloggers (evident by his low Alexa ranking, sparse website, and minimal community involvement) making critical mistakes that could hurt their ability to garner followers and traffic, I looked up the guy’s contact information(only found an email, no forms available) and sent him this exact email:

Hi (Blogger X), I ran across your blog today and liked it, but didn’t see your subscribe buttons. Any help?

Regards,

Marcus Sheridan

The Sales Lion

Kind letter, right? Yeah, I thought so too. Here was the response, word for word:

Subscribe by email- that or nothing

Yep, that’s right, this was his exact response. No, ‘Thanks for the email’ or ‘Appreciate your interest’ or anything like that. Heck, the guy didn’t even say ‘Hi’, much less sign his name. That was it folks.

At this point, I figured I had three choices:

a. I could tell the guy he was an idiot and that he really didn’t have a clue about blogging nor how to build a community.

b. I could just go my merry way

c. I could ask him why he adhered to such a (stupid) practice

Not being able to walk away just yet, I chose ‘C’, and here’s how the conversation then played out:

Me: Seriously?? Why?

Blogger X: Email is far better for the both of us.

Again, no signature, no ‘thank you’, no nothing. But at this point, I realized I was working with some arrogant kid that was destined to fail in the blogosphere, and so I left it there, surely never to visit his blog again.

9 Critical Blogging Lessons We Mustn’t Forget

As most of you know, ‘community’ is everything on this site. I’m about building relationships (real ones) with awesome people. I believe strongly in the Laws of Reciprocity and Karma. And I also care greatly for those persons kind enough to read and subscribe to my blog.

This is why I contemplated the actions of this jerk for the next few days after the little email exchange occurred. And the more I thought about what the guy said, the more I realized I needed to write this post, and discuss the gross errors of his ways.

This being said, I wanted to briefly mention 9 blogging lessons I was reminded of with this event:

1. Subscribe Buttons: Here’s the deal folks—If you’re not prominently displaying subscribe options by both RSS and Email, you’re missing out. I still read 3 or 4 blogs a week that don’t have an email subscription form. If you fall in this category, stop writing and add what you’re missing TODAY.

2. The Power of ‘Thank You’: I earnestly believe one of the easiest things we can do in life is to simply say ‘thank you’ when we’re shown kindness. It is for this reason that every comment I’ve ever replied to here on TSL gets a ‘thank you’. The same holds true for email contacts. Simply put, there is a power of connection behind those two little words. (The best article I’ve ever read on this subject was written by Ingrid Abboud, and can be found here)

3. Email Signature is a Must: With such free tools as Wisestamp and others, I have no idea how it’s possible someone wouldn’t add a signature their emails. It’s so easy to do and it’s free, so there’s literally no excuse (Tristan Higbee wrote about this). And for the love of Pete, NEVER send a customer or blogger an email without signing your stinking name!

4. It Ain’t All About the Sacred ‘List’: Yes, I do agree with Pat Flynn when he talks about the money for a blogger, at least in many ways, is in their email list. But just because this is often the case, what good does it do to cut your nose off just to spite your face? My friend Blogger X was so obsessed with getting my email that he destroyed a subscriber, a relationship, and much, much more.

5. Guest Posts Mean Nothing to Me: What was funny about this kid is that he recently did a guest post on one of the ‘major’ blogs and was bragging quite a bit about it on his site. Well, I’ve got news for you kid—It’s not that hard to get on those sites anymore, and their quick traffic boosts will do nothing for you if your interpersonal skills stink.

6.  Contact Forms: For such an ‘expert blogger’, I was pretty surprised to see this cat didn’t even have a simple contact form on his website. In fact, his contact page only showed his email address—and nothing more. Personally, I get way more contacts from potential clients and other bloggers on my forms (I use Gravity Forms btw, and they rock) than I do by email.

7. I Don’t Want Your Stupid eBook: Seriously, why would I want a blogging eBook from someone who obviously has very little community and traffic? Although I’m a fan of eBooks when used properly, I’m not a fan of eBooks written by people that have not ‘been there, done that’. Such acts only make bloggers look like desperate hypocrites.

8. Don’t Be a Young Jerk: I think, for whatever reason, many college age, 20-something bloggers often times, in an effort to ‘prove themselves’ and show maturity, end up coming across as conceited and rude. I’ve honestly never understood this pattern of behavior and have seen many other wonderful young folks, like Stuart Mills from Unlock the Door and Christina Crowe from Cash Campfire, who have chosen to walk a much warmer, humble, and friendlier blogging path.

9. Arrogant Pride is a Blog Killer: This is the most important lesson of all folks. No matter how big we get, no matter how many followers we have, we simply cannot allow for arrogant pride to enter our hearts—causing us to think we’re in some way better than those we come in contact with everyday on the web and in life. A classic example of two bloggers doing this the ‘right way’ are Gini Dietrich and Danny Brown. Both have thousands of subscribers to their blogs but each take the time to help as many people as possible, no matter what type of ‘klout’ score a person may have.

At the risk of coming across a little vain myself, Blogger X likely had no idea who I was when he received that email. He likely didn’t understand the substantially large community that reads my blog. He also likely had no comprehension just how many visits other bloggers get from my many mentions and links.

And the sad reality is……He Never Will.

Your Turn

OK, lots of conversation opportunity here folks. First of all, without mentioning the blogger’s name, what’s the rudest experience you’ve ever had online? Also, why do so many choose to take this arrogant path? And finally, feel free to mention a few bloggers you know that take the opposite approach and treat everyone with kindness and equality.

Have a great week everyone!! :-)

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